Land News – Spring 2015

land news spring 2015

What’s inside:

  • Send a Child to Camp
  • Meet BYLT’s New Youth Program Director: Christy McCracken
  • Burton Homestead – Then and Now
  • Looking to the Future: A Nature Center
  • Things to Do With Kids
  • Upcoming Treks

Message from Executive Director Marty Coleman-Hunt

Environmental educators say there is a growing disparity between the time kids spend indoors using a computer, watching TV, or playing video games, and the unstructured time they spend outside enjoying nature.

If they go outside at all, it tends to be in organized, group sports activities. Only about 10 percent say they are spending free time outdoors every day, according to a new nationwide poll led by The Nature Conservancy. A lack of access to and interest in nature keeps kids from experiencing the outdoors, the poll revealed.

It is a myth that rural kids have more access to the outdoors than urban kids. A child in our community faces similar challenges such as a lack of transportation to get to the natural open spaces often found miles from town.

But the good news is that kids who do go outdoors say it made them appreciate nature more. They are almost twice as likely to:

  • say they prefer spending time outdoors
  • strongly agree that protecting the environment is cool
  • view themselves as strong environmentalists
  • express concern about water issues, air pollution, climate change and the overall condition of the environment

Bear Yuba Land Trust is committed to fostering future leaders in environmental stewardship by offering quality youth programming.

Year after year, 150 children gain nature experiences they will remember for a lifetime through BYLT’s summer nature camp at Burton Homestead. At camp, they identify animal tracks, catch pollywogs, make natural crafts, hear Native American stories and sing nature songs. With community donations, about one-third of the campers receive scholarships.

In this newsletter, read about how the Land Trust is working to create a community nature center at Burton Homestead and the diverse nature programs being offered by our partner organizations.

Beyond Burton, BYLT has a vast amount of land to offer educators to deliver environmental programming: land with ponds teaming with water fowl, grasslands and flowery meadows, oak and conifer forests, clear running creeks, sites offering Native American archeology and local mining history. Please welcome Christy McCracken, our new Youth Programs Manager and learn about her dreams of working with other environmental educators to get more local young people outdoors year round.

Would you like to help? Do you have a passion for getting kids outdoors to experience nature? Please contact me, I’d love to hear from you!

Executive Director Marty Coleman-Hunt

Download Land News – Spring 2015